Last week was pretty much a wash-out for me because of a cold. When I am ill, my reflex is to ignore the “inconvenience” and power on, noticing that everything is a bit more difficult than usual, but carrying on regardless. In some place in my mind, I hold a belief that being ill is a sign of weakness, and that if I am strong I will just keep going. The battle was on between the tissues and Wonder Woman!
But then I remembered a talk that I attended recently by Matthew Walker on the power, and even the biological necessity, of sleep. Sleep is what allows our body to function normally and heal itself. So instead of trying to be superwoman, I gave in and allowed my body to rest. And that felt so good.
I wonder why I needed to listen to an expert talk about the importance of sleep to acknowledge what my body really required when it was unwell?
Our bodies tell us so much about ourselves and most of the time we ignore them. Almost everyone I talk to has some physical ailment – from the disturbed digestion to the painfully tense neck muscles, and everything in between. And so often these pains are the product of our body telling us that we are overworked, stressed, worried, overwhelmed… But we put up with it or take tablets and power on.
I remember a long time ago when a workplace health advisor told me that actually, my normal state should be to feel 100% most of the time. I think that back then my normal was more around 60%, and that was on a good day. I could not relate at all to what it might be to feel great every day. And I spent many years living like that.
I have always remembered that comment, and only now can I say that I really know what he meant.
What about you? What’s your normal?